The choice to move into a senior living community is exciting and full of possibilities. Having a variety of communities to choose from can be empowering, but too many options can quickly feel overwhelming.
That’s why many people start their search online. It’s a great way to see what levels of care and amenities each community offers and to narrow down your search.
Once you’ve identified three or four communities you are most interested in, plan to visit each community in person, if possible.
Tours are a critical part of the decision-making process. They will give you a chance to get a feel for the community. But perhaps the most important part of a tour is that you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions.
As you prepare for your tour, you might consider jotting some of your questions down. Bringing a list of questions will ensure that you don’t forget anything.
We believe these key question categories will spark some ideas for questions you might like to ask and help you or your loved one make an informed decision.
Ask Questions to Learn More About the Staff
It takes a lot of people to make a senior living community run successfully. The best communities know how important it is to attract and retain great staff members.
Here are questions to ask to learn more about the staff and associates.
- Which care team members are on-site 24/7?
- Are staff members required to pass background checks?
- What makes your community special? Why do people want to work here?
- Is someone available 24/7 for emergency maintenance?
- Do you promote diversity and inclusion?
Learn More About the Living Spaces
You want to be certain the floor plan and amenities in your residence suit your lifestyle. It’s natural to start thinking about what furniture you have and where it might fit as you walk through a space, but it’s better to focus on the big picture for now.
As you tour the residences, you’ll want to consider asking these questions:
- How many different floor plans are available?
- Are maintenance services included?
- Do residences have kitchens or kitchenettes?
- Where are residences located within the community? Are they within walking distance of shops, restaurants, or parks?
- Can you personalize your residence?
- What utilities are included?
- What is your pet policy?
- Are a washer and dryer included? Is laundry service available?
Find Out About Dining Options
Dining is one of the biggest perks of senior living. At Senior Star communities you’ll enjoy restaurant-style dining with chef-prepared meals and the flexibility to eat on your schedule.
When you take a senior living tour, ask these questions about dining:
- How many meals are provided per day? Are snacks provided?
- Are mealtimes flexible or is there a set schedule?
- Is your food focused on health and wellness?
- Can you modify menu options to meet specific needs?
- Can I experience a meal with residents during my tour?
- What options are available for holidays and special events?
Ask About Community Activities, Recreation, and Wellness Programs
Senior living gives you freedom from the chores and responsibilities associated with maintaining a home. This means you’ll have the opportunity to explore new interests, spend time with friends and pursue your hobbies.
At Senior Star, our Signature Programs are designed to encourage physical and mental wellness for healthy aging. Each one of our Senior Star locations has a calendar full of exciting activities such as cooking demonstrations, mixology experiences, and game nights.
Consider asking these questions about activities on your senior living tour:
- What types of activities and amenities are available to residents?
- What hours are amenities like arts and crafts rooms and fitness centers available?
- Is there a posted schedule of activities and events?
- Do you provide volunteer opportunities or other ways to interact with the surrounding community?
Learn More About Services That Add Convenience to Your Day
Services are key to helping you maintain your independence as you age while also contributing to a convenient lifestyle.
Our Senior Star communities offer concierge services, Signature Transportation, salon and spa services, as well as laundry and housekeeping services.
These are important questions to ask about services on a senior living tour:
- Do you have transportation services to things like medical appointments, grocery stores, and off-site events?
- Do you provide housekeeping or laundry services?
- Are there concierge services?
- Are salon/barber shop services available?
- Do you have a variety of wellness programs to help residents stay healthy?
Get the Details on the Cost
The cost of senior living varies from community to community. While you should never choose a community based on price alone, it is something you’ll carefully consider.
During your tour, feel free to ask questions that can better help you understand the cost but also the value of moving into a retirement community.
Your Senior Living Specialist can also help you explore what funding options may be available to you.
Download our guide: Financial Planning for Retirement Living.
These are some questions to ask about the cost of senior living:
- What’s covered in your monthly fee?
- What are your ancillary services and their fees?
- Can I use my long-term health insurance for assisted living or memory care?
- Is there a pet deposit?
- Do you have any other one-time fees, like an administrative or community fee?
- Is there a fee for a second occupant?
As you can see, there is a lot to think about as you choose the right community for you.
Wherever you are in your search, a Senior Star Senior Living Specialist would be happy to answer any questions you or your loved one may have.
Source: Where You Live Matters